What will those boys at Trick Dog think up next? The Mission cocktail bar continued to outdo itself on its innovative menu designs, debuting a new one following its first birthday on Tuesday: an astrological wheel featuring 12 cocktails based on signs of the Zodiac. You spin the wheel, it reveals the drinks. While I quite liked the original menu based on the Pantone color guide (though the pages tended to get sticky), and admired the last one based on an old record album (though it was too difficult to navigate), the astrological chart is probably the most well-done and easy-to-use yet.
I stopped by last night to sample some of the cocktails, namely because the Taurus, my astrological sign, was so intriguing -- a mix of Beefeater gin, Dolin blanc, carrot, miso, and coriander -- that I had to try it. Taurus turned out to be one of the most delicious of the six cocktails we ordered between us. It was predominately, but not overwhelmingly carrot-y (carrot juice being one of those things I cannot stomach), the miso added a nice firm backbone, and overall it was just a subtle and wonderfully balanced drink.
The only drawback to some was that it didn't have as much acidity as some of the others, like the pretty, citrusy Libra, made with tequila, tangerine, dill, lime, egg white, and macha. "It's easy to like," my friend (a Libra!) said, and I had to agree. Also great: The Aries, which tasted of smoky mezcal and had a surprising kick of heat at the end. Our collective least favorite was the Leo, which looked like Hawaiian shaved ice with its guava and condensed milk, but not even the Leblon cachaca, Mandarine Napoleon, and stout, helped it rise above a one-note tiki drink.
We left after two drinks each because it was a school night, but I'm dying to go back and try the Cancer, made with Black Grouse scotch, salted pineapple, peanut, and sage. I have no idea how it will taste, but knowing Trick Dog's track record -- and the fact that a drink they made with mango and Scotch turned out to be one of the best things I put in my mouth in 2013 -- I'm willing to bet it will be delicious.
To see more shots of the menu and read descriptions of all 12 new cocktails, Camper English has 'em all documented over at Alcademics. (The bar's lighting -- while conducive to making the bar's attractive drinkers even more so -- is not great for photographs.)